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Dolphins and the Tuna Industry (1992)

Chapter:Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
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DOLPHINS AND THE TUNA INDUSTRY

Committee on Reducing Porpoise Mortality from Tuna Fishing

Board on Biology

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

Commission on Life Sciences

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1992

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

Support for this project was provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Contract No. 50-DGNF-9-00157.

Cover photo: Courtesy, NOAA Photo Library

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Reducing Porpoise Mortality from Tuna Fishing.

Dolphins and the tuna industry/Committee on Reducing Porpoise Mortality from Tuna Fishing, Board on Biology, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 9-309-04735-8

1. Tuna fisheries—Environmental aspects. 2. Dolphins—Mortality. 3. Tuna industry—Environmental aspects. I. Title.

SH351.T8N37 1992

333.95′9—dc20

92-10603

CIP

Copyright 1992 by the National Academy of Sciences.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
×

Committee on Reducing Porpoise Mortality from Tuna Fishing

ROBERT C. FRANCIS, Chairman,

University of Washington, Seattle

FRANK T. AWBREY,

San Diego State University and Hubbs Sea World Research Institute, San Diego

CLIFFORD A. GOUDEY,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

MARTIN A. HALL,

Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, La Jolla, CA

DENNIS M. KING,

University of Maryland, Solomons

HAROLD MEDINA,

Jamul, CA

KENNETH S. NORRIS,

University of California, Santa Cruz

MICHAEL K. ORBACH,

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

ROGER PAYNE,

Long Term Research Institute, Lincoln, MA

ELLEN PIKITCH,

University of Washington, Seattle

Staff

DAVID POLICANSKY, Project Director, 1990–1992

DAVE JOHNSTON, Project Director, 1989–1990

RUTH CROSSGROVE, Editor

SHIRLEY JONES, Project Assistant

BERNIDEAN WILLIAMS, Information Specialist

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
×

Board on Biology

HAROLD VARMUS, Chairman,

University of California, San Francisco

ANANDA M. CHAKRABARTY,

University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago

MICHAEL T. CLEGG,

University of California, Riverside

RICHARD E. DICKERSON,

University of California, Los Angeles

TIMOTHY H. GOLDSMITH,

Yale University, New Haven

RICHARD E. LENSKI,

University of California, Irvine

BARBARA J. MAZUR,

E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, DE

HAROLD J. MOROWITZ,

George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

DANIEL E. MORSE,

University of California, Santa Barbara

PHILIP NEEDLEMAN,

Monsanto Agricultural Company, St. Louis

MARY LOU PARDUE,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

DAVID D. SABATINI,

New York University, New York

MICHAEL E. SOULE,

University of California, Santa Cruz

MALCOLN S. STEINBERG,

Princeton University, Princeton

DAVID B. WAKE,

University of California, Berkeley

DANIEL I.C. WANG,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

BRUCE M. ALBERTS (ex officio),

University of California, San Francisco

OSKAR R. ZABORSKY, Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
×

Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology

PAUL G. RISSER, Chairman,

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

FREDERICK R. ANDERSON,

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Washington, DC

JOHN C. BAILAR, III,

McGill University School of Medicine, Montreal

LAWRENCE W. BARNTHOUSE,

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

GARRY D. BREWER,

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

EDWIN H. CLARK,

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, State of Delaware, Dover

YORAM COHEN,

University of California, Los Angeles

JOHN L. EMMERSON,

Lilly Research Laboratories, Greenfield, IN

ROBERT L. HARNESS,

Monsanto Agricultural Company, St. Louis

ALFRED G. KNUDSON,

Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia

GENE E. LIKENS,

The New York Botanical Garden, Millbrook

PAUL J. LIOY,

UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway

JANE LUBCHENCO,

Oregon State University, Corvallis

DONALD MATTISON,

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh

GORDON ORIANS,

University of Washington, Seattle

NATHANIEL REED,

Hobe Sound, FL

MARGARET M. SEMINARIO,

AFL/CIO, Washington, DC

I. GLENN SIPES,

University of Arizona, Tucson

WALTER J. WEBER, JR.,

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Staff

JAMES J. REISA, Director

DAVID J. POLICANSKY, Associate Director and Program Director for Applied Ecology and Natural Resources

RICHARD D. THOMAS, Associate Director and Program Director for Human Toxicology and Risk Assessment

LEE R. PAULSON, Program Director for Information Systems and Statistics

RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Program Director for Environmental Sciences and Engineering

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
×

Commission on Life Sciences

BRUCE M. ALBERTS, Chairman,

University of California, San Francisco

BRUCE N. AMES,

University of California, Berkeley

J. MICHAEL BISHOP,

Hooper Research Foundation, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco

MICHAEL T. CLEGG,

University of California, Riverside

GLENN A. CROSBY,

Washington State University, Pullman

LEROY E. HOOD,

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

DONALD F. HORNIG,

Harvard School of Public Health, Boston

MARIAN E. KOSHLAND,

University of California, Berkeley

RICHARD E. LENSKI,

University of California, Irvine

STEVEN P. PAKES,

Southwestern Medical School, University of Texas, Dallas

EMIL A. PFITZER,

Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., Nutley, NJ

THOMAS D. POLLARD,

Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore

JOSEPH E. RALL,

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

RICHARD D. REMINGTON,

University of Iowa, Iowa City

PAUL G. RISSER,

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

HAROLD M. SCHMECK, JR.,

Armonk, NY

RICHARD B. SETLOW,

Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY

CARLA J. SHATZ,

Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford

TORSTEN N. WIESEL,

Rockefeller University, New York

JOHN E. BURRIS, Executive Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
×

Preface

The Committee on Porpoise Mortality from Tuna Fishing was formed on October 10, 1989, under the auspices of the Board on Biology (BB) and the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST) of the National Research Council's Commission on Life Sciences. The committee was formally charged as follows:

The task of this committee is to perform a study mandated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act Amendments of 1988, reviewing scientific and technical information relevant to promising new techniques for finding and catching yellowfin tuna without killing porpoises in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean. The committee will review information on the biology and ecology of the yellowfin tuna and porpoises with which they commonly associate, as well as the nature of the “tuna-porpoise bond.” The committee will also identify currently available and promising new techniques for reducing the incidental catch of porpoises in tuna fishing. These techniques include locating tuna without porpoises, breaking the tuna-porpoise bond, and modifying gear or methods to reduce incidental drowning of porpoises in nets. The resulting report will be used by the Secretary of Commerce as a basis for a proposed plan for research, development, and implementation of alternative fishing techniques.

The committee met on 4–5 December 1989, 1–3 February 1990, 21–22 April 1990, and 11–12 June 1990. In addition, a writing group of R. Francis and M. Orbach met in Morehead City, N.C., in July 1990.

The committee was fortunate to have in its membership experts on both tuna and dolphin biology and ecology, tuna fishing and gear technology (in particular, purse-seine and dolphin-conservation technology), fishery biology, management, sociology, and economics. All of these kinds of expertise were

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
×

required to address the complex issues of dolphin mortality from tuna fishing. Indeed, the problem goes far beyond issues of science and technology.

In the early 1970s, the ‘tuna-dolphin problem” was one of the most difficult issues before the newly formed Marine Mammal Commission. Now, two decades later, it still remains a matter of intense concern to politicians, the media, and the public at large. This concern persists not because of its scientific importance, but because its ramifications extend into many aspects of contemporary society. It affects not only those directly involved in the harvesting and marketing of tuna and tuna products, but also the competitive relationship between U.S. and non-U.S. fishermen as well as the international relations between the United States and other countries that harvest tuna and market tuna products. Perhaps even more important, the tuna-dolphin problem raises a complex series of sociological, and inevitably political, issues that include attitudes of and about fishermen, food processors and canners, retailers, animal-rights advocates, disparate groups of environmental activists, the popular press, and other news media.

The committee, however, was charged to identify scientific and technological innovations that show promise in reducing dolphin mortality from tuna fishing. Although the committee decided that the problem must be put into the broad context of policy, history, and economics, it strove to provide an unbiased, neutral evaluation of the scientific and technical issues it faced. Individual members hold personal views on the values of preventing all dolphin mortality from tuna fishing, of preserving the fishermen's way of life, of obtaining valuable protein at the lowest possible cost, and of other related issues, but the committee made every effort to exclude those personal views from its analysis and from this report. The committee's effort was focused on providing, to the best of its ability, the best scientifc and technical evaluation to inform policymakers and the public, even if some of its scientific conclusions are unpalatable to various people.

The committee was assisted greatly by the National Research Council staff, in particular our project directors Dave Johnston and David Policansky, our project assistants Linda Kegley and Shirley Jones, and editor Ruth Crossgrove. Their work was essential in producing a coherent report from the drafts provided by the committee members. We also acknowledge the guidance of BEST liaison Joanna Burger and BB liaison David Wake. We are grateful to nine anonymous reviewers and to George Bartholomew for contributing many helpful comments and suggestions.

We also thank persons who provided information, prepared presentations for the committee, or made original data available to the committee for analysis and interpretation. They include David Bratten, David Cormany, Doug DeMaster, Rick Deriso, Robert Hofman, Ken Hollingshead, Michael Laurs, Richard McNeely, Charles Oliver, William Perrin, Karen Pryor, Joyce Sisson, Pat Tomlinson, and John Twiss.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
×

I wish to thank two graduate students at Fisheries Research Institute, James Ianelli and Alejandro Anganuzzi, who assisted with my analysis and interpretation of data. Finally, I also wish to thank four outstanding individuals who helped to make my task a doable one. Abby Simpson took care of all matters of logistics and editing at the FRI end. Her keen knowledge of the English language greatly enhanced the quality of the sections of the report drafted by me. Committee members Martin Hall and Harold Medina have consistently acted beyond the call of duty. Martin has patiently provided the committee with more information and a greater critical eye than I would have thought possible. Harold, as the only committee member from the U.S. tuna industry, has consistently provided his unique insight, sometimes in very contentious and uncomfortable situations, in the most distinguished and gentlemanly fashion imaginable. And last but not least, in addition to providing technical and editorial support, Program Director David Policansky has been a spiritual companion throughout the course of this long and difficult journey.

Robert C. Francis

Chairman

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
×

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
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Page xiii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
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DOLPHINS AND THE TUNA INDUSTRY

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1992. Dolphins and the Tuna Industry. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/1983.
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Dolphins and the Tuna Industry Get This Book
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This book presents key conclusions about the controversial killing of thousands of dolphins each year during tuna fishing in the eastern tropical Pacific.

Dolphins drown in nets that are set to catch yellowfin tuna, which tend to swim beneath dolphin herds. After 20 years of intense debate among environmentalists, the tuna industry, and policymakers, this fatal by-product of tuna fishing remains a high-profile public issue.

Dolphins and the Tuna Industry provides a neutral examination of the scientific and technical questions at the core of the problem. Recommendations for solutions are offered in two areas: developing new techniques that promise to reduce dolphin mortality with the existing purse-seine method of tuna fishing, and developing entirely new methods of finding tuna that are not swimming with dolphins.

Dolphins and the Tuna Industry provides a comprehensive, highly readable overview of the dolphin-tuna controversy, useful to experts and newcomers to the issue. It explores the processes of tuna fishing and dolphin mortality, the status of the tuna industry, and the significant progress made in reducing dolphin mortality through modifications in fishing practice.

The volume includes:

  • An overview of U.S. laws and policies relating to tuna and dolphins.
  • An illustrated look at how tuna fishing crews use their equipment, focusing on the purse seine, which is the method most economical to the industry but most deadly to the dolphins.
  • An overview of what is known about tuna and dolphin populations and the remarkable bond between them.
  • A step-by-step description of the fishing process and efforts to let dolphins escape from the nets.
  • An analysis of possible approaches to reducing dolphin kill, including more stringent regulatory approaches and incentives for the tuna industry.

This book will be indispensible to environmental and animal protection groups, tuna fishing crews and processors, companies that market tuna products, policymakers, regulators, and concerned individuals.

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